The grotesque saga of Roy Moore hit a new level of visceral disgust on Monday. The creep show CNN guest who compared sexually pursuing teens when you're in your 30s to stealing a lawnmower might have taken the cake. But the day wasn't over. First, a fifth accuser came forward with perhaps the most disturbing story yet. Then, reports surfaced in The New Yorker and Alabama's largest newspaper Monday evening that Moore was so well-known for going after high school girls at the local mall that he had to be banned from the premises. The Roy Moore platform: banned from the mall, but not the National one—if you'll just give me a 42nd chance.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
As we've highlighted, Moore has his defenders. But the chorus rising against him is growing. As Stephen Colbert put it last night, it's gotten to the point that he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are on the same side of an issue:
Somehow, this has been framed in some places as an extension of The GOP Civil War between McConnell's establishmentarians and Steve Bannon's...people who are OK with 32-year-old men allegedly trying to seduce 14- and 16-year-olds? (Bannon's group apparently includes Alabama Evangelicals, nearly 40 percent of whom are more likely to vote for Moore after the allegations surfaced. What?) This doesn't really work as a populist vs. establishment fight.
"I don't remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother."
As Colbert pointed out, Moore really did not have much of a denial in a very friendly interview with right-wing propagandist Sean Hannity. Explaining you "don't remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother" is perhaps the creepiest way to admit you were dating girls young enough that they needed the permission of their mothers. This is no globalist conspiracy (unless a local Alabama paper is in on it), even if late-night hosts and the Senate Majority Leader are on the same side. It's a matter of common decency, which apparently is, more and more, a polarizing issue.
Speaking of common decency, one man who's usually on the right side of it is former Vice President Joe Biden. He also featured on The Late Show last night, for a wide-ranging interview that touched on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, dealing with his own grief as a bereft father, and a whole lot else:Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
It's hard to say whether it feels better or worse to be reminded of a time when our political leaders showed even a modicum of moral leadership. Now, we applaud Mitch McConnell when he clears a bar set somewhere in the earth's crust. He has made his share of mistakes, but it will require Biden and people like him to rebuild our political life from the ruins we find it in now.